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New search page

Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
Some ranchers may have noticed that the search page has recently changed, and since the new page contains some long-requested new features, we wanted to say a few words about it.

  • It's now possible to search through several, or all, forums. This has often been requested, but was not possible so far due to the load being placed on the system.
  • Results are listed in reverse chronological order, but can be grouped by forum.
  • There's also a sort option "by relevance". That only works if (one or more) search terms are entered, i.e. not for searches for member name/ID.
  • It's possible to search for a member name in addition to member ID (just check the appropriate checkbox)
  • For a member, all threads containing his or her posts can be shown, or just the ones started by her (again, a checkbox). There's also a link titled "Show my posts" that does the same thing.
  • There's no longer a limit of 400 results. So, if you are searching for all your posts, and you have been posting a lot, you will get many pages of results. This, too, was a frequent request.
  • There is an upper limit of results, though, beyond which the user is asked for a more specific search request. Otherwise, accessing all results would take up too much memory.
  • Search plugins for Firefox are available, both for the Saloon and the FAQ wiki. For the Saloon, FF 2.0 is required, for the FAQ both FF 1.x and 2.0 are supported.
  • The index is being updated every few minutes with the latest posts, so it may take a short while until a recent post can be found.
  • If a search didn't find the results you were looking for, clicking the "Search again" link will take you back to the search page, with all fields prepopulated with the parameters you originally entered.
  • Note that the number of topics is shown, not the number of posts you see elsewhere in the Saloon, so you will get a lower number than your current post count if you search for all your posts.
  • Last but not least: The search is implemented in Java, proving that we actually do what we preach, even though the rest of the Saloon still isn't. In particular, the fantastic Apache Lucene library is used, without which this would not be possible.

  • If you see strange results, or have ideas for further improvements, be sure to let us know about it.
    [ February 22, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 63870

    Kudos to the excellent work of the staffers who made this possible!

    [Asking smart questions] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba

    Joined: Oct 02, 2003
    Posts: 11956

    Much praise should be heaped upon those who did this. To my knowlege, that was mostly Ulf and Jim Yingst.


    There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
    Jim Yingst

    Joined: Jan 30, 2000
    Posts: 18671
    Mostly Ulf really. Ulf done good.

    "I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    author & internet detective

    Joined: May 26, 2003
    Posts: 33132

    Nice! Thanks Ulf! This will make it a lot easier to find stuff.

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    Pushkar Choudhary

    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 425

    Well Done...!! Cheers to Ulf and Jim and everyone else who helped in this...!!!
    Carol Enderlin
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 10, 2000
    Posts: 1364
    Nicely done. I did a couple of searches tonight, it was really fast and looks great!

    Reverse chronological order ...
    [ February 22, 2007: Message edited by: Carol Enderlin ]
    Michael Dunn
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 09, 2003
    Posts: 4632
    Very nice improvement.

    All that remains is for when someone clicks 'Post New Topic', it takes them to
    the search page first (with a hint).
    David O'Meara

    Joined: Mar 06, 2001
    Posts: 13459

    We're so happy with the changes, it's a great piece of work.
    Chetan Parekh
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 16, 2004
    Posts: 3640
    Thanks for valuable feature

    My blood is tested +ve for Java.
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
    subject: New search page
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